Juvenile godwits

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Juvenile godwits

Postby philbattley » Wed Oct 23, 2019 11:41 am

Hi everyone, there has been a really large influx of juvenile godwits into the country over the last week. For example, there were 69 at the Manawatu Estuary on Saturday (which is a good number) but yesterday 165 were feeding on the back flak behind the spit, and there were more (potentially up to 40) seen distantly on the south side. My record here for juveniles is (from memory) 105, so this is an exceptional number. I see a report of 35 at Whanganui yesterday also, and have heard of comparatively large numbers of godwits at the Ohau Estuary, which likely also involve juveniles. We're about to embark on a research project on juvenile godwits, so if you are out shorebirding and can count juveniles (which are striking with their buffy spangled plumage and lack of wing moult), please leave a note here. Total number of birds checked would also be useful.

Many thanks, Phil

The bird below is a classic juvenile with pale-notched wing and upperpart feathers, and stained face from probing into iron-rich sediments in Alaska.
barg juv_MG_1857.jpg
Juvenile Bar-tailed Godwit
barg juv_MG_1857.jpg (136.51 KiB) Viewed 1480 times
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Re: Juvenile godwits

Postby Davidthomas » Wed Oct 23, 2019 11:49 am

Was at Kaitorete spit on Lake Ellesmere yesterday and there was a flock of 25 juveniles no adults.
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Re: Juvenile godwits

Postby NicDillon » Wed Oct 23, 2019 1:16 pm

Hi Phil, I witnessed what looked like a first landing for 18 juveniles yesterday morning at 07.25 on the seaward side of the Mangawhai Sandspit. All were juvenile and with droopy wings and frantic feeding. They came in over the sea swung down the beach and pitched in right next to me.. I have a few images and video if you are interested. Nic
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Michael Szabo
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Re: Juvenile godwits

Postby Michael Szabo » Thu Oct 24, 2019 11:37 am

I saw 3 today on Island Bay beach in Wellington this morning:
Link to photo: https://scontent.fpmr1-1.fna.fbcdn.net/ ... e=5E20619F
'New Zealand Birders' Facebook group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/857726274293085
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Tony Whitehead
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Re: Juvenile godwits

Postby Tony Whitehead » Sat Oct 26, 2019 4:28 pm

This one ended up in Rotorua
David Lawrie
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Re: Juvenile godwits

Postby David Lawrie » Sun Oct 27, 2019 11:01 am

I was sent a photo of two Godwit at Lake Ngaroto near Te Awamutu last week.
On examining the photo they were clearly juvenile Godwits.
Last night at Miranda there were at least 237 juveniles in the flock of 4300. So a big influx last week.
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Re: Juvenile godwits

Postby philbattley » Tue Oct 29, 2019 9:38 am

Pam Slack and Lindsay Davies had an incredible 250 juveniles together at the Manawatu Estuary on Sunday, in addition to a separate group of 140 older birds. Remarkable.

I was in southern Hawkes Bay and had 9 juveniles together at Pourerere, but just south along the coast at Ouepoto were larger numbers (90-odd) and most of those appeared to be adult.
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Re: Juvenile godwits

Postby haggarty » Tue Oct 29, 2019 11:24 am

Was also at the Manawatu estuary on Sunday, truly an incredible sight! The young godwits were all feeding in the channel near to estuary path, rather than out on the mudflats as the tide retreated. If you want great views of juveniles get there! (was also a solitary turnstone present)
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Adam C
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Re: Juvenile godwits

Postby Adam C » Tue Oct 29, 2019 12:26 pm

Wish I'd caught up with this post earlier! :D
“Nobody grows old merely by living a number of years. We grow old by deserting our ideals. Years may wrinkle the skin, but to give up enthusiasm wrinkles the soul.”

Samuel Ullman
Paul Gibson
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Re: Juvenile godwits

Postby Paul Gibson » Tue Oct 29, 2019 2:14 pm

Wow, what a lot of juvenile godwits at Foxton. Seems a good year for them, we had 35 at Whanganui last week, which is high for here, still 23 there this morning.
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